What does 2 Corinthians 2:3 mean?
ESV: And I wrote as I did, so that when I came I might not suffer pain from those who should have made me rejoice, for I felt sure of all of you, that my joy would be the joy of you all.
NIV: I wrote as I did, so that when I came I would not be distressed by those who should have made me rejoice. I had confidence in all of you, that you would all share my joy.
NASB: This is the very thing I wrote you, so that when I came, I would not have sorrow from those who ought to make me rejoice; having confidence in you all that my joy was the joy of you all.
CSB: I wrote this very thing so that when I came I wouldn’t have pain from those who ought to give me joy, because I am confident about all of you that my joy will also be yours.
NLT: That is why I wrote to you as I did, so that when I do come, I won’t be grieved by the very ones who ought to give me the greatest joy. Surely you all know that my joy comes from your being joyful.
KJV: And I wrote this same unto you, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow from them of whom I ought to rejoice; having confidence in you all, that my joy is the joy of you all.
NKJV: And I wrote this very thing to you, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow over those from whom I ought to have joy, having confidence in you all that my joy is the joy of you all.
Verse Commentary:
Paul is explaining why he chose not to return to Corinth from Macedonia as soon as he had apparently said he would. His previous visit with them had been "painful," likely the result of confrontation with one of the men in the church. Paul knew that when he returned, he would have to exercise his authority as an apostle to correct the man and maybe even the entire church if they sided with this person.

So, Paul put the trip off. He wanted to hear first if there had been a change of heart in Corinth. If not, he knew he would cause them pain when he arrived, and he knew they would cause him to suffer, as well. Their relationship would be strained to the breaking point if they did not agree with him and side against this man who may have been challenging his authority as an apostle of Jesus.

Paul writes that the Corinthians should cause him to rejoice. They were the ones he looked forward to boasting about in the Lord, since they had trusted in Christ and had grown in their faith as a result of his ministry. He wanted only to enjoy them and not to have to confront them. He was sure they felt the same about him, as well, and that his joy in their change of heart would bring them joy, too.
Verse Context:
Second Corinthians 2:1–4 finds Paul explaining with great emotion how he decided not to return to Corinth until he learned whether they would side with or against him. He did not want to cause mutual needless pain with another difficult visit. Instead, he wrote to them in great anguish. That letter—now lost—told them to correct the man and to remain loyal to God's authority in and through him. He did not write to hurt them but out of abundant love for them.
Chapter Summary:
Paul explains why he delayed coming to visit the Corinthians. In great anguish, he had written a painful letter to tell them they must correct a man among them. This person may have challenged Paul's authority as an apostle of Jesus. The Corinthians disciplined the man, and he repented. Paul told them to forgive him. He tells of Titus failing to show up in Troas with news about the Corinthians, then transitions into teaching that Christians are the aroma of Christ on earth to everyone they know.
Chapter Context:
Second Corinthians continues uninterrupted from the previous chapter. Paul is explaining why he waited to come to Corinth. He wanted to see if they would side with him, or with the man who challenged his authority. They disciplined the man. He repented. Paul commands restoration and forgiveness. He then tells of failing to find Titus in Troas with news about them before transitioning into teaching that Christians are the aroma of Christ on earth, smelling of death to the perishing and life to those being saved. This brings Paul back to the subject of his own authority in chapter 3.
Book Summary:
Second Corinthians returns to similar themes as those Paul mentioned in his first letter to this church. Paul is glad to hear that the church in Corinth has heeded his advice. At the same time, it is necessary for Paul to counter criticisms about his personality and legitimacy. Most of this text involves that subject. The fifth chapter, in contrast, contains comforting words which Christians have quoted often in times of hardship. Paul also details his expectations that the church in Corinth will make good on their promise to contribute to the needs of suffering believers in Jerusalem.
Accessed 7/17/2024 12:49:05 PM
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